About the School of Social Work


Portrait of Dr. Stephen Kapp

Stephen Kapp, Ph.D.

Director, School of Social Work

Email: sakapp@ualr.edu

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the UA Little Rock School of Social Work. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a metropolitan research university that provides a vibrant setting for our research and service activities. The city offers the program a healthy network of social work mentors and rich social service environments for student internships. Additionally, the School’s research and service efforts are centered in the urban center and throughout the state.

Here are just a few of the appealing features of our program:

  • Our courses are taught in both face-to-face and online formats by dedicated faculty that have well-developed careers as social work scholars, teachers and practitioners.
  • Student advising is provided by faculty that can offer high-quality support and guidance for both academic and professional career issues.
  • All students will have the benefit of an agency-based internship which provides them with the opportunity to develop their skills under the supervision of an experienced social worker.
  • Our program is accredited and our graduates are eligible for professional licenses in Arkansas, including the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) credential for students with their bachelor’s degree and the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for students with their master’s.
  • Our graduates are employed at a high rate with private and public service providers in Arkansas and across the country.
  • Our graduates are welcomed into a professional network of 300+ social workers across the state.

As you become a social worker, you join a profession focused on promoting social justice and directly addressing all forms of oppression. Our curriculum equips our graduates with a knowledge base, a core set of values and a concrete skill set to identify and address disparities that impact individuals and families as well as their communities. We encourage you to join us in our mission.


The UA Little Rock School of Social Work was established in 1969 with the creation of the UA Little Rock Graduate Social Work Program, which is the oldest and largest social work program in the state and currently employs 18 faculty and staff. We are housed in the College of Education and Health Professions along with several of UA Little Rock’s most well established and successful professional programs:

  • School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation
  • School of Education
  • Department of Nursing

Our degree programs include a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with both a clinical concentration and a management and community practice concentration as well as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. In the fall 2016 semester, the School of Social Work launched an online MSW degree program and in the fall 2017 semester, we launched an online BSW degree program. In partnership with the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, we offer a joint MSW/JD degree. We also offer a minor in gerontology at the undergraduate level and the Graduate Gerontology Certificate, which can be completed in conjunction with the MSW degree. We currently have approximately 375 students enrolled in our various degree programs. We work closely with MidSouth, the community service unit of the School of Social Work, and the largest grant producing center at UA Little Rock.


The mission of the UA Little Rock School of Social Work is to prepare ethical graduates who accept and appreciate diversity, who empower people and communities to meet the challenges of poverty and social and economic injustice, and who serve oppressed and vulnerable populations at the local, state, national, and international levels.

BSW Mission Statement

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is unique: we are the only undergraduate social work program in the state that is located in a metropolitan university as well as in the state’s Capitol. We are committed to the values of diversity, human rights, and social justice. With this value base, we educate our students in the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for generalist practice within our diverse population and prepare students for graduate and life-long learning. (Revised April 2010)

Program Goals
The UA Little Rock BSW program prepares students to:

  1. Engage in generalist practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  2. Engage in culturally affirming practice with diverse populations.
  3. Engage in practice that is consistent with the Code of Ethics.
  4. Evaluate individual, group, and community practice.
  5. Identify client strengths and challenges.
  6. Utilize the knowledge of human development in a social environment to guide assessment, intervention and evaluation.
  7. Advocate and promote social justice.
  8. Advocate on behalf of policy change.
  9. Contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  10. Engage in lifelong learning, including the pursuit of graduate study.

MSW Mission Statement

The mission of the graduate program of the School of Social Work, building on a strong generalist foundation, is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice and in management and community practice within the social welfare system in Arkansas. Our commitment is to discover and disseminate knowledge, embrace diversity, to serve our communities and organizations, and to eliminate the barriers that oppressed and vulnerable people face.

Towards this mission, MSW program faculty prepare graduates not only for general social work practice but also one of two specialized concentrations; Advanced Direct Practice (clinical) work or Management and Community Practice.

Program Goals
The goals of the MSW Program are:

    1. To provide a generalist foundation preparing students for advanced practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, and supporting students’ development as professional social workers and identification with the profession.
    2. To prepare students to utilize knowledge, skills, values/ethics, and critical thinking necessary for effective social work practice.

<liTo instill in students respect for diversity, human rights, and social justice.

  • To prepare students with the analytic knowledge and skills to evaluate and improve practice, influence policy, and advocate for social and economic change.
  • To prepare students who understand and respond to the changing context of social work practice and who assume the responsibility for ongoing professional growth.
  • To instill in students and faculty an appreciation for and commitment to applied research, service, and social action within the community.
  • As faculty, to conduct and disseminate social work research that contributes to knowledge and best practices in clinical and community settings.


Program Competencies
Established by the Council on Social Work Education in 2015, the following nine competencies pertain to both the foundation and advanced (concentration) curriculum. By the end of their concentration year, students in the MSW program are expected to show proficiency in each of the following competencies:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Engage in policy practice.
  6. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  7. Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  8. Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social work competence is the ability to integrate and apply knowledge, values, and skills to practice situations in a purposeful and professional manner. Each of the nine program competencies are informed by knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and affective processes that include critical thinking, affective reactions, and exercise of judgement in regard to practice situations.